International publishing standards and legal deposit obligations: Awareness issues and national library as a digital nervous system

  • Charles O. Omekwu
  • Justina N. Ekere
  • Anthonia N. Ejikeme
  • Patrick Igbokwe


This paper is an empirical investigation of authors‟ awareness of international publishing standards and their legal deposit obligations which are critical variables for both Universal Bibliographic Control and Universal Availability of Publications. The descriptive research design was adopted for the study. The area of study was Enugu State in South East Nigeria. Specifically, the institution of the authors was the University of Nigeria Nsukka which historically and population-wise is the oldest and largest institution in the South East. The population was made up of 70 librarians in the Nnamdi Azikiwe Library and the Department of Library and Information Science of the University. The sampling approach was purposive. The data collected was analyzed using frequency counts, standard deviation and mean scores. The basis for decision was 2.50 for both the upper and lower scores. The highest level of awareness of authors of international publishing standard was that „web resources now have DOI‟, followed by ISBN for books, CIP for publications, the importance of CIP, ISMN for music publications, the agency with statutory responsibility to prepare CIP, the agency that assigns ISBN, the requirement for ISSN for journals. They were however not aware of the agency that assigns ISBN. The study revealed that authors play critical roles in the maintenance of international publishing standards. The authors studied agreed they ensured that their publishers use ISSN and process CIP for books. They agreed that they are key players in national bibliographic control practices. They also checked whether online journals containing their works had DOI. Majority of the authors agreed that their awareness levels were very high and high respectively, with respect to their awareness of legal deposit obligations. The study also revealed that the greatest source of awareness came through sensitization/enlightenment programmes, followed by publishers, librarians, conference participation in that order. While the authors were aware of their publishers‟ obligations, they were not aware of the provisions of the legal deposit provision. A digital nervous system of shared responsibilities for the maintenance of international publishing standards and the implementation of legal deposit provisions in Nigeria, and indeed any other country is proposed. This is the mainstay of the paper‟s originality. It is argued that a functional identification and integration of the burgeoning stakeholders into a digital nervous system define the future from the foreground for improved international publishers‟ standard and compliance with the extant depository law, for Nigeria and indeed, for most developing countries. 


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eISSN: 1597-4316